Democratic political newcomer Ed Braunstein handily defeated Vince Tabone on Tuesday to retain the District 26 Assembly seat for his party.
“I’m exhausted, but I’m very happy,” Braunstein, 29, told the Queens Chronicle at his campaign party Tuesday night at Cascarino’s in Bayside.
Although the victory was not unexpected, it was sweet for the young lawyer, whose most recent job was to work in Manhattan doing constituent services for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Braunstein beat Tabone by more than 4,000 votes, taking 58.5 percent to his opponent’s 41.5 percent.
Tabone, 43, is also a lawyer and serves as vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party. He previously ran unsuccessfully for office in 2001 while a resident of Astoria.
“Ed’s campaign was a model of what a campaign should be,” said 26th District Democratic Leader Carol Gresser. “He had no negative attacks and he talked about the issues.”
Braunstein, who has also served for a year on Community Board 11, had to beat three fellow Democrats in the September primary.
CB 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece, who has previously run for different offices in the area, said it is difficult for a Republican to win in the 26th District. The seat has been held by Assemblywoman Ann Carrozza (D-Bayside) since 1997. In April, she announced she will retire at the end of her term. Prior to her election, the seat was occupied by Republican Doug Prescott.
Braunstein campaigned to get state spending under control and to focus on education issues. He is also concerned about getting back tax dollars to improve schools and parks.
His jubilant parents and siblings were on hand for the celebration Tuesday night and his mother, Mary Braunstein, said she and the family did a lot of campaigning, adding that her son is a born leader and always wanted to go into politics. “If he needs me in the future, I’m here to do anything,” she said.
The 26th District includes Whitestone, East Flushing, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Malba and Bay Terrace.